The tabling today of the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) Annual Plan in State Parliament, has again detailed funding issues the integrity agency is facing from the government.
IBAC has confirmed that Labor’s allocation of “funding will only allow IBAC to maintain existing levels of service. Given the significant increase in demands being experienced by IBAC to meet its remit to expose and prevent corruption, it is likely that additional funding will be required in the coming years to satisfy this demand.”
The Annual Plan has also confirmed the savage $4.4 million budget cut on the very watchdog that is currently undertaking at least three different corruption investigations involving Andrews’ Victorian Labor Party.
Daniel Andrews said on the floor of Parliament on the 12 November 2020:
“The budget will be delivered on 24 November and IBAC will receive more funding than it has ever received before.”
That has now proven to be a lie, with the State Budget and Annual Plan confirming the $4.4 million cut.
Only after pressure from the Liberal Nationals during Question Time and PAEC hearings after the release of the State Budget, was a new decision made to release trust reserves to the integrity agency to increase its funding.
Comments attributable to the Shadow Minister for Public Sector Integrity, Kim Wells:
“Today we have another warning to the Andrews Labor Government about funding restrictions to fight corruption in Victoria.
“Given the significant investigations into Labor corruption underway, it’s just another case of politics first, Victorians last in the fight against corruption in Victoria.
“How many more warnings does IBAC need to provide the Andrews Labor Government until the integrity agency is properly funded so it can do it’s job?”